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30 Ways to Reduce Academic Stress
The key to de-stressing is isolating yourself from stressors. But how to do it? Here are 30 effective techniques that you can use to minimize the negative impact of stressors on your life. These easy-to-do tricks will not change the situation causing you the stress, but will help to develop the ability to change your reaction under these stressful situations.
30 effective techniques to reduce stress
A. Reducing stress through physical exercise:
1. Exercise to burn calories
Exercising is a proven way to manage stress. Here’s how you can burn your calories,
- Cycling (6 mph) 240
- Jogging (5.5 mph) 740
- Running (10 mph) 1280
- Swimming (0.85) 275
- Walking (2 mph) 240
- Tennis (Singles) 400
Sit up straight on a chair with both your feet touching the floor. Close your eyes and chant loudly or silently: a positive mantra, ‘I feel at peace’ or ‘Om’. Place your hands on the belly and sync the mantra with deep breaths. You can do it by sitting at your workstation. A few minutes of practice every day help ease anxiety.
3. Breathe deeply
Take five minutes break from your work and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eye closed, hands on the desk, slowly inhale through nose and exhale through your mouth.
4. Take aromatherapy
Taking Epsom salt bath with a variety of essentials oils is an effective way to loosen your tensed muscles. It improves your detoxification system and offers stress-busting magnesium and sulfates for the body.
Laugh out loud; it not only lightens the load mentally, but also lowers the Cortisol (stress hormone) level. Read comic or funny stories, sitcom, chatting with someone who makes you laugh.
6. Cry to become happy
Weeping proper tears has powerful effects on your stress level. Of course, you need to decide how and where you choose to submit to this most basic emotion. The middle of the boardroom while giving presentation to your client is a not a good idea, more privacy is required.
Dancing can be great escape from the stressors. You don’t have to be a pro dancer to use this technique, just turn on the music in your room and close the doors and dance to your heart’s content for few minutes. And Voila, you will be far away from stress.
8. Try neem yoga hand trick
Apply pressure to the space between your second and third knuckle (the joints at the base of your pointer and middle finger). It creates instant calmness in your body (according to Sharon Melnick, the author of Success under the Stress)
B. Reducing stress through mental exercise:
9. Praise yourself
Forget about what you did not accomplish; focus on what you did achieve. Before going to bed, write down three positive things that you did accomplish that day; no matter how small they are, even making space in an overcrowded lift.
10. Find yourself
Who I am? What is the purpose of life? The answer to these questions help you find the real meaning of life. Finding meaning of life can help you stay calm during the difficult situation.
11. Keep a journal
We all need an outlet for releasing our negative and positive feelings. Try writing your feelings in a journal or notebook. This action lets you come closer to your feelings.
12. Learn to say NO
Learn how to reject proposals that you would not reasonably handle. Learn few ways to say no:
- ‘Thanks for asking me, but I’d better not take on another commitment right now’
- I’d be happy to do this work, but right now I am running out of time’
- Or simply, ‘No, thank you!’
If you say ‘no’ right now, you are saving yourself from undergoing future stress.
13. Create a personal mission statement
If you did not notice yet, successful people and organizations always have mission statements. In these personal statements, you state:
- What do you want to be?
- What you want to accomplish?
- The values you will follow during your accomplishments
Take time to revise it eventually. It will boost your confident level.
14. Do little something
When you are feeling tired and discouraged to do a particular thing, start with something else. Like taking out the trash, arranging your bookshelf or watering plants in your garden. Once you are done with small jobs, you will eventually feel like doing the big jobs.
15. Let your mind tell you
In this technique, you mind directs your body how you feel.
Step 1: Find a place where you can sit comfortably.
Step 2: Close your eyes. Try to clear your mind
Step 3: Choose a focal point on your left arm and repeat it in your mind, ‘my left arm feels warm and heavy’, until it actually feels that way.
Step 4: Do the same with the right hand
Step 5: End with this session by breathing deeply and a full-body stretch.
Let go of things that you cannot change. You may worry flood or earthquake will destroy your family, and you cannot do anything about it. So tie that worry in a knot and lock it in a closet. Think about the ways to adapt the changes taking place in your life.
17. Stay positive
Having positive approach towards life helps you fight stress. Try the following techniques:
- Positive self-talk: Tell yourself before taking any challenging task, ‘I can’. In this way, you will be more prepared to deal with challenges.
- Mental creation: Think about a stressful situation before it occurs and plan how you will react. Be as detailed as you can.
- Action plan for success: Always be ready with an alternative plan (B or C) in case your first plan fails you to get success.
18. Face reality
Whenever, you counter stressors, get determined to do something about the situation. Get busy in work or other things. Doing nothing will make things worse for you. For example, if you recently countered financial loss, assess the reason behind it, decide your priorities and outline your steps forward.
C. Reducing stress through healthy diet:
19. Make a cuppa
Any tea will do but flavored tea is preferable. You can use:
- Fresh mint
- Orange Zest
- Ginger Root
Making tea and preparing for the ingredients allow you to take your mind off those things that’s causing you stress.
20. Take high protein breakfast
Adults should eat 0.8g of protein per kilogram (2.2lb) of body weight per day. Start your day with high protein breakfast like:
- Scrambled Eggs with Chilies
- Bacon and Jalapeno Egg Sandwich
- Braised Kale Frittata
- Spinach and Egg Breakfast Wrap with Avocado and Pepper Jack Cheese
High protein diet can improve your mood and boost your resistance to stress.
21. Avoid stress aggravating foods and drinks
Certain food and drinks aggravates the stress, but it does not mean you need to exclude them from your diet completely. You can take them in moderate amount. Food and drinks that agitates your peace of mind are,
- Tea coffee cocoa and energy drinks
- Fast food and takeaways
- Butter and Cheese
- Meat and Shellfish
- Soda Cold drinks and Chocolate Drinks.
22. Take stress-bursting food
Don’t dishearten, there are also plenty of foods that help you to reduce your stress level; food that you should take on regular basis to fight the giant stress problem. Those are:
- Water (Brain strongly depends on water to function properly)
- Fresh vegetables and fruits (Great source of minerals and vitamins that are useful in reducing stress)
- Fish (Contains Omega fatty acid that is good for heart and also boosts memory power)
- Soups (Balanced of vitamins, protein, carbohydrate)
- Yogurts (Maintains nerve impulses)
- Herbal Products (Essential oils that reduces stress).
23. Snack on healthy nuts instead of junk food
Nuts are packed with magnesium that keeps your Cortisol level low. It is one of the best food items to have during snack time rather than those unhygienic take-away foods.
24. Inhale lavender
Not funny, it is for real. Lavender scent reported significantly lower anxiety levels among those who inhaled it. According to British Research, 2010, it worked among dental patients during surgeries, so it will surely work during other stressful times.
25. Nibble on chocolate
Here comes the king of stress-buster. Research has proved that dark chocolate can help in reducing stress (mainly hormones associated with it). But go easy on chocolate because you don’t want to undergo stress due to overweight.
D. Reducing stress through simple actions:
26. Watch funny clippings
Things go viral so quickly that there are always new things to watch. Take out some time from your schedule and search for funny videos on YouTube. See ridiculous things to have a good laugh. As you have read already, laughing reduces the stress level.
27. Create your own playlist
Closing your eyes while listening to music can do wonders to your brain. Tuning out from the world at least for 5 minutes can be a great way to lower your stress. Make a favorite playlist on your phone and carry it. Whenever you think stress is overpowering your mind, listen to it.
28. Chew a piece of gum
No it is not about making your breath better, but chewing gum can really relieve from anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress. It is now proved by studies.
29. Take a break
After 3-4 hours of study or work, you have to get up from your study table or desk, because it will be worthwhile. Just a 5–10 minutes break from your regular doings will have you returning re-focused and a little less anxious. Moreover, you eyes will appreciate this rest.
Cooking is a therapy that soothes jangled nerves, heals broken bones, cures boredom, insomnia and anxiety. The reason is you create something new for the ones you care and love. Cooking ensures intense involvement in an activity that you tend to forget, at least for a while.
The best thing about these 30 ways is that you can easily practice these techniques. So go ahead and give them a try.
10 quick facts about stress:
- In the 1930s, Hans Selye, an endocrinologist, was the first to use the term ‘Stress’ in an organic framework.
- According to an opinion poll, the major cause for stress in nearly all countries is money.
- Reaction to stress makes the blood thicker that can lead to blood clot.
- Stress is recognized as the topmost cause of death globally.
- Stress can alter blood sugar level that is responsible for mood swings, fatigue and hyperglycemia.
- Chronic stress decreases the body’s immune system.
- When cells shrink to due to exposure of stress hormones, they disconnect from each other and that leads to depression.
- Stress seizes a small part of your brain that forces smart people to do dumb things.
- Scientists suggest that stress is a part of revolutionary drive because it enables people to survive; it increases the awareness to some extent.
- Eye pupils dilate during stress in the similar way to attraction
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